The Mental Health Tribunal (Tribunal) welcomes feedback and complaints as an opportunity to monitor, review and improve our services, practices and procedures.
This policy sets out:
- how a person can make a complaint or give feedback to the Tribunal
- how the Tribunal will investigate and respond to complaints and feedback.
This policy does not include what to do if you disagree with the outcome of a Tribunal hearing. For information about that see I don't agree with my Treatment Order.
This policy aims to:
- Create an open and transparent complaint and feedback system
- Specify service standards to which we hold ourselves accountable
- Set our timeframes for resolving complaints
- Ensure complaints are handled fairly and objectively, and
- Set out how we welcome complaints and feedback as valuable data to identify where we might be able to improve our service, procedures and practices
This policy is based on seven principles.
We value complaints and feedback. We recognise them as being part of our business of serving our communities and improving service delivery. We are committed to resolving complaints and have a culture that recognises an individual’s right to complain.
People with a range of needs can easily complain or provide feedback. Our staff are available to help you navigate our complaints and feedback process.
We make it clear how and where to complain or provide feedback. We make it clear how complaints and feedback will be handled. The steps taken to respond to a complaint are recorded and will stand up to scrutiny.
4. Objectivity and fairness
Complaints are assessed on merit and dealt with courteously, impartially and within established timeframes.
Complaint and feedback information is handled according to privacy laws and other relevant legislation. We provide clear information about how we handle personal information. Complaint and feedback data is de-identified if reported on or shared more widely.
6. Complaint handling accountability
We are accountable internally and externally for our complaint handling performance. We provide explanations and reasons for complaint handling decisions and ensure that our decisions about complaints are subject to appropriate review processes.
7. Continuous improvement
Acting on, learning from and using complaint and feedback data helps us identify problems and improve services.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with conduct or behaviour, the quality of an action taken, or service provided, or a delay or failure to provide a service or take action, by the Tribunal, including by a Tribunal member or member of staff.
Feedback is commentary on the Tribunal’s services from users or other external parties where no explanation or response to the provider is required. An example is positive feedback about how a hearing was conducted or a suggestion about a process for consideration.
How to complain or give feedback
You can complain or give feedback by providing us with relevant information in writing, including:
- your name and contact details
- who and what the complaint or feedback is about, and
- when and where the issue arose.
A complaint or feedback can be lodged by:
Mail: Level 30, 570 Bourke St Melbourne, 3000
Fax: (03) 9032 3223
Internet: using the Contact us form on our website
In person: Level 30, 570 Bourke St Melbourne, 3000
Tribunal staff can help you to complain or give feedback.
Timeframes for handling feedback and complaints
We will acknowledge your complaint within seven days from receiving your complaint if we have your contact details.
We will aim to respond to your complaint within 28 days. If it will take longer than this, we will update you with new expected timeframes.
If you are giving feedback, we may write to you to acknowledge that the feedback has been received.
How we will investigate and respond to complaints
The President, Deputy President, Chief Executive Officer or Principal Registrar will investigate complaints.
We’ll decide who investigates your complaint based on what or who your complaint is about and who’s available to respond to you as quickly as possible. A complaint will not be investigated by the person that a complaint is about.
To investigate your complaint thoroughly, we may need to tell others about the details of your complaint, including:
any people involved in the issue raised in the complaint
the individual who is the subject of the complaint
the manager or supervisor of the individual who is the subject of the complaint.
When we do this, we may need to share your written complaint to the person(s) involved. The person investigating your complaint may also ask others about their perspectives on the issue that you complain about. We may also need to contact you for more information about the issue or service that you are complaining about.
We will respond to you in writing after we have investigated and assessed all the available information.
Possible outcomes of complaints
The outcomes of the investigation of complaints may include one or more of the following:
- an explanation of the issues from the perspective of the Tribunal
- an explanation of Tribunal services, policies, processes, or procedures
- an outline of any planned changes to Tribunal policies, processes or procedures based on what has been learnt from investigating a complaint
- if appropriate, an apology.
Protecting the privacy and confidentiality
We are committed to handling all information in connection with feedback and complaints in accordance with the applicable privacy laws and other legislation that sets out how information should be handled.
Information gathered during the investigation process will only be:
- used to deal with and resolve complaints or to address any systemic issues that the feedback or complaint raises
- disclosed in a de-identified format when reporting publicly on feedback and complaints received by the Tribunal
- shared with Tribunal members or staff on a need-to-know basis.
Recording complaints and feedback
All feedback and complaints are recorded by the Chief Executive Officer. We record the following information:
- Details of the person providing feedback or making a complaint
- When and how the feedback or complaint was received
- Description of the feedback or complaint
- The person responsible for handling a complaint
- The formal response to a complaint
- Any action taken in response to feedback or a complaint.
We analyse our complaint and feedback data to identify service and practice improvements. Any queries should be directed to the Chief Executive Officer.
Reporting on performance
We publish high level information on complaints in our quarterly reports, available on our website.